UT Wins $50 Million to Build ‘Stampede’ Supercomputer

Last week, news broke that UT has won a grant to build the baddest-ass supercomputing system anywhere. The machine, which will be called “Stampede,” will bump up UT’s supercomputing power twentyfold, making it the world’s most muscular system for open use.

The win completes a 10-year turnaround for Texas from non-factor to powerhouse in the supercompetitive world of advanced computing.

“Nobody didn’t compete for this system,” says Jay Boisseau, director of the Texas Advanced Computing Center, “and we won.”

Ten years ago, UT administrators recognized that their supercomputing presence was pretty mediocre and, given the steady rise of supercomputers in the project of scientific inquiry, decided to invest heavily to improve it. They hired Boisseau from the San Diego Supercomputing Center and charged him with making the center the best in the land.

Not only did Texas win this $51.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, it won the previous one too, in 2007, to build Lonestar.

Two nationwide contests, two wins for Texas. If that’s not best in the land, what is?

Stay tuned for an article on Jay Boisseau in the November issue of the magazine. For more on the history of TACC, visit its site or read this Alcalde article from 2007.


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